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How to Make Learning to Tell Time Fun and Easy for Kids

Teaching kids to tell time is an essential skill that they will use for the rest of their lives. Reading an analog clock is a fundamental skill, but many children find it difficult to learn. It's time to change the way we teach this skill. An innovative method, the "room" method, is what changed the way I teach time!

Here are the 7 steps to using the room method:
  1. Teach clockwise: This is vital for the room method. Teach students to start at the top of the clock and follow the numbers around so they get larger. 

  2. Divide the clock into rooms: Split the clock into 12 equal parts. These will be the hour “rooms”. Color each a different color and label the rooms. Teach students to go clockwise, knock on the hour door, and enter that hour’s “room”. It’s important to show students that the hour hand can be anywhere inside of this room.

  3. Introduce the hands: I like to introduce both the hour and minute hands at the same time. When first beginning we only look at the hour hand. The minute information is already filled in for the student. We look at the length of the word to help us remember which is which. Hour is shorter than minute so it is the shorter hand.

  4. Practice the hour: As your students gain confidence in identifying the hour, start to take the room colors and division away so they get used to a plain clock.

  5. Count by 5s: Next, it’s time for the minute hand! Start by practicing counting by 5's to help them understand how they can skip count to find the minutes.

  6. Practice the minutes: Have students start to identify the minute hand along with the hour hand. You can bring back the colored rooms if they start getting confused!

  7. Master time telling: Before long your students will be able to tell time like a pro! Keep practicing both writing and reading time on a variety of clocks. 


7 steps to telling time

By following these tips, you can help your child master the skill of telling time and set them up for success in the future. Looking for materials that require no preparation to assist your students with telling time? Check out my clock resource on TPT to help you with just that.




With this resource, you can easily print and laminate the clocks for a reusable option in your classroom. The clock pages come in varying levels of support, allowing you to cater to different students and their needs. In addition, there are various games and activities included in the resource to make learning to tell time fun and engaging for your students. Don't waste precious time preparing materials, use this clock resource to make teaching time a breeze!

Included in the 44 pages are:

*The 7 steps to using the room method

*Learning clockwise

*Place hour numbers

*Several large clocks (1 clock on a page) divided into rooms

*Identifying hour vs. minute hand

*3 colored and b/w hour room practice pages (with hour rooms shown)

*3 hour room practice pages (without hour rooms shown)

*Hour room game (with gameboard and cards)

*100 chart for counting by 5s practice

*Adding minutes to a clock

*3 colored and b/w hour and minute (to 5 min) practice pages (with hour rooms shown)

*3 hour and minute (to 5 min) practice pages (without hour rooms shown)

*Drawing time game with spinners

*Roll dice telling time partner game

*Cut out clock



telling time for kids

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